18th July, 2011
Nigeriaâ€™s Flying Eagles will have their hands full tonight when they confront Panamaâ€™s U-20 team in the opening match of the Four-Nation Invitational Tournament, tagged Copa Presidente de la Republic .
The match will be played at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez stadium, 9p.m. Panama time, which is 3a.m Tuesday, Nigerian time.
The match, and indeed the tournament, is very important for the Coach John Obuh-led Flying Eagles, as the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, expects it to be a preparation platform for the Nigerian team ahead of the FIFA U-20 World Cup, which begins in Colombia on 29 July.
Obuh, who named his squad for the World Cup last Friday is very optimistic of his team, not only beating Panama in the opening game, but enjoy a good outing in the championship that features Mexico and Portugal U-20 teams.
â€œI have an attacking team that have been told to attack Panama and I want to assure Nigerians that weâ€™ll not disappoint in the competition,â€ the coach said.
Meanwhile, Obuh has declared that it has been very difficult for him to pick a team for the World Youth Championships.
Obuh says most of the additions to his team were scared of playing because of the belief that he will stick to the Under-17 team that got to the final of the World Cup in 2009.
â€œThere was a big challenge because we were already working on the team that graduated from the Under-17 to Under-20 and most of the new players that came became scared of the original team.